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Because he is attacked by a missile on th dark side of the moon, Doctor
Who (Patrick Troughton) has to land his time-and-space ship TARDIS (Time
And Relative Dimensions In Space) on earth, but when a few of the TARDIS'
circuits go bust, he and his companions Zoe (Wendy Padbury) and the
highlander Jamie (Frazer Hines) have to go visit a certain Professor
Watkins (Edward Burnham) to have them fixed - only to learn from Watkins'
photographer niece Isobel (Dsllx Faulkner) that Watkins seems to have
disappeared, and all of this might have something to do with the all
powerful International Electromatics company.
When the Doctor and Jamie pay a visit to the company, they are met by
way too rude security personnel and a way too nice company boss - Vaughn
(Kevin Stoney) - to not grow a bit suspicious. Later, when Zoe and Isobel
come to the company to look for the Doctor and Jamie, they are taken
The Doctor meanwhile meets his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
(Nicholas Courtney), head of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Task force)
and learns thatInternational Electromatics has made it a habit to kidnap
reknowned scientists ... but n obody can prove anything yet.
Eventually, it becomes clear that Vaughn plans to help the Cybermen -
an outer space species of eobo-men - to take over the earth, but once that
is accomplished he plans to pull a fast one on the Cybermen, using one of
Professor Watkins' inventions to infuse them with emotions the Cabermen -
as robots - are naturally allergic to.
When the Doctor saves Zoe and Isobel (per helicopter, no less), he
learns all this about the Cybermen, plus that they are planning to put
humankind under their hypnotic spell from outer space ... but at least he
has a handful of neuristers - gadgets that counteract any form of
hypnotism - to save himself and his love ones from the Cybermen's hocus
pocus ... and once that is accomplished, the Doctor and UNIT start to
Meanwhile, Vaughn realizes his plan to rule the world doesn't go
exactly as he wanted to and he starts to use Watkins' machine on the
Cybermen, which causes the Cybermen to launch the megatron bomb to pretty
much annihilate humankind in one go. But the Doctor and UNIT launch
several missiles both against the megatron bomb and the Cybermen invasion
fleet and destroy them all, plus at the same time they help Vaughn fight
the Cybermen he himself has invited on his own turf. In the end, Vaughn is
allowed to die a hero's death while the Doc, his friends and UNIT save the
world once more - and as a thank you, the Doctor gets his broken circuits
On the plus-side this earthbound Doctor Who adventure is less childish
and more serious in tone than many of Patrick Troughton's Doctor Who
adventures, actually it almost has an edge to it ... but on the downside,
it's just way too long, clocking in at over three hours - and considering
this is only another alien invasion story, the whole thing seems at times
to be incredibly dragged out. To be fair, the episode contains some creepy
images - like the Cybermen army marching through London - but they get
lost in the many subplots to fill up the 3+ hours. It probably would have
been at half the running time !
Today, chapters one and four of the episode are presumed lost, but have
been recreated as computer animations (courtesey of Cosgrove Hall), still
retaining the original soundtrack (which for some reason did not get
lost). The result is less than perfect, but regarding that the episodes
might not exist anywhere anymore the best one can hope for.
Doctor Who fans will of course know, this is the first episode to
feature UNIT, an organisation that will gain importance especially during
Jon Pertwee's run as the Doctor.